Ladles & plates substitute for ball & bat

Ladles & plates substitute for ball & bat in this charity match

The members of the Padutirupathi cricket team pack the food they have cooked.

Barred from indulging in their favourite sport during the lockdown, a group of cricket enthusiasts in Karkala taluk of Udupi district, who go by the name of the Padutirupathi Cricketers, have come together to help those affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

They are providing food to medicos, paramedics, officials and workers, who are on the front line of fighting Covid-19. The volunteers are also supplying food to patients in hospitals, their attendants, stranded migrant labourers and the underserved.  

Though the prevalence of Covid -19 cases is relatively low in Udupi district, no stone is left unturned in diagnosing and nipping the spread of the disease at the outset. 

The hardship of the personnel at a check post to get food and water propelled a few members in the group to rise to the occasion. What started as a small gesture of providing the personnel with food on Day 4 of the lockdown, has today grown into an efficient network supplying lunch packs every day to as many as 500 people in and around Karkala. The cricketers also dispatch about 150-200 breakfast packets.

The administration gave them the permission after seeing the kitchen hygiene and healthy food. 

“The team’s generosity to feed all those who are nowhere to turn to during the ongoing lockdown period is commendable,” says Tahsildar Purandara Hegde. 

Nayana Jayanth, a staff nurse at the government hospital, says the team’s service is a “godsend” for the staff, patients and those who accompany them. “Our special requests for toddlers’ needs too have been promptly met without any delay,” she adds.

More than 30 members cook, pack and carry them to the respective locations in their own vehicles.  Govindaraya Pai, a member of the troupe, has offered the premises of his home for the purpose. The volunteers abide by the lockdown guidelines by maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and sanitising their hands. The youth volunteers slog from 7 am
to 4 pm.

“Our purpose is to keep people indoors and stay put at their locations, instead of coming on streets looking for food,” says Prakash Pai, a member. 

“The daily expenses of the food may come up to Rs 10,000,” says Vittaladas Shenoy, president of Padutirupathi Cricketers. The labour of each member, of course, is not counted. People are supporting the team with donations, with offers in cash and kind.